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Post-production   /  Naomi Ball

Who I Am

A transgender and autistic teen learns to be himself with the help of their original animated characters, The Fallens.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Naomi Ball

  • PRODUCER Naomi Ball, David Elliot-Jones, Cadance Bell



Charlie (pronouns he/they) is a transgender and autistic teen. Research shows that people on the spectrum are more likely to be trans or gender diverse, but little is known about why.

Who I Am follows Charlie's social transition, with a realistic portrayal of the challenges faced when coming out to family, making friends, accessing healthcare, and learning self-love. The story is told through observational moments and Charlie’s own animated characters, The Fallens, coming to life. Their mum and two younger siblings, also on the spectrum, act as important supporting guides into this vibrant family world.

Support this project

18.50% funded
  • $28,000.00

  • $5,180.00

  • December 2022

  • 24

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Jess Sullivan $1,700.00
Jess Sullivan $50.00
Dee OLoughlin $30.00
AP Pobjoy $40.00
Pride Foundation Australia $750.00
Clint Hare $100.00
Anonymous $20.00
Tram Nguyen $250.00
Kathryn Joy $20.00
Lewis Warner $20.00
Elyce Sandri $100.00
Madeline MacIntyre $50.00
Alison Fraser $1,000.00
Jarrah Bassal $50.00
Mae Tanner $100.00
Anonymous $50.00
Marta Malchevski $100.00
Peta Malins $100.00
Lou Pardi $100.00
Kara Mclean $50.00
Mauricio Ochoa-Lemos $100.00
Denisha R $100.00
Anonymous $250.00
Emma Elliot-Jones $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

In Australia 22.5% of trans and gender diverse youth have an autism diagnosis. This can mean they face additional barriers to mental health and medical care, a bleak prospect given 72% of trans youth have experienced depression and/or anxiety. Meanwhile the intersection of trans and autistic identities is at risk of being used to undermine hard-won trans rights. Already in Australia we have seen opinion pieces in conservative media questioning the validity of autistic teens identifying as trans. This film will provide a voice to these youth and build awareness and community support, particularly among young people. It will also give health professionals, educators and parents insight into their unique needs.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Who I Am will give a voice to trans and autistic youth and build understanding of their experience among young people, health professionals, educators, and parents. In doing so we offer an alternative to fear-driven narratives that undermine their rights and those of all trans people. We will galvanise community support, encourage access to much-needed mental health and medical care, healthcare professionals will be able to develop better care practices, and make a case for further research.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short-term Outcomes
Increased awareness and understanding of trans and autistic young peopleIncreased empathy for trans and autistic young people
Increased knowledge of the prevalence of the trans and autistic intersection, and how it impacts access to mental health and medical care

Medium-term Outcomes
Young people treat their trans and autistic peers kindly
Educators support trans and autistic students
Parents support their trans and autistic teen, and provide access to / advocate for appropriate mental health and medical care
Healthcare professionals adapt their care of trans and autistic youth
Community support for the rights of trans youth
A positive offset to detrimental conservative media commentary

Long-term Outcomes
Improved mental health and medical outcomes for trans and autistic teens
Improved school and home enviroments for trans and autistic teens
A shift in healthcare practices for trans and autistic teens
Changes to laws to support the rights of trans young people


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Working with an organisation such as Minus18, we will develop education kits for young people, educators and parents, designed for delivery in schools. It will include the film, shorter clips, and text-based digital resources.

Similarly, working with Amaze, we will develop a training workshop based on the film, to be delivered by the Amaze team to healthcare professionals and parents. This resource will also be made available to Gender Centres across Australia (e.g.: Royal Children’s Hospital, Gender Centre).

In addition to this, we will coordinate community screenings for LGBTQIA+ youth and their families through Minus18 and other LGBTQIA+ organisations such as Equality Australia, and for the Autistic community through Amaze.

Furthermore, we will partner with LGBTQIA+ and autism advocacy groups to release a short version of the film on their social media channels, directing people to a website where they can watch the film, download education kits and book training.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We have spoken with Amaze, and Associate Professor Dr Ken Pang of the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and Minus18, and they are supportive of the film. Conversations with Transcend are in motion.

Amaze is particularly interested in developing a training resource that will guide best practice as they see a real need for it in their community. They have also provided contacts for other people working to advocate for trans and autistic people, which we are investigating as part of development for the film and the social impact campaign.

With regards to the content of the film, it is important to us that it represents the trans and autistic community in a nuanced and respectful way. Having these conversations and partnerships ensures we achieve that aim. Additionally, producer Cadance Bell is transgender and brings her insights as both a filmmaker and trans person.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

1. Talk with friends and family about the film and the challenges faced by trans and autistic young people
2. Support their trans and autistic peer / student / child / client in a way that meets their unique needs
3. Support campaigns for transgender rights by signing petitions or making donations

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Distribution in gender clinics (number of gender clinics, number of families it’s distributed to)
Positive feedback from gender clinics (surveys of staff and families)
Distribution through community organisations and allied health services (number of training workshops)
Positive feedback from community organisations and allied health services (surveys of workshop participants)
Community screenings (number of screenings)
Positive feedback from community screenings (surveys of audiences)
Distribution in schools (number of educations kits in schools)
Positive feedback from schools (surveys of staff and students)
Positive media stories on the intersection of autistic and gender diverse people (number of stories)
Positive social media stories (number of stories)
Improved access to healthcare for trans and autistic youth (surveys of youth and parents)
Changes to care practices of health professionals (surveys of healthcare professionals)
Support for transgender rights (law changes)